Dr Stretton, I Presume

Dr Stretton I presume cover

Kidderminster boasts a unique place in medical history, having been served by three generations of surgeons from the same family for almost 100 years. Dr Stretton, I Presume, written by local historian Nigel Gilbert and published in 2012, tells, not only the medical story of these three surgeons, but also the wider health and environmental issues upon which they campaigned.

Samuel came to Kidderminster in 1856 as a young doctor having served in the Crimean War. Clearly influenced by his experiences there, he was the main driving force behind the building of a new infirmary in Mill Street in 1871 and recognition of the key importance of nurses in the hospital’s success.

His son, Lionel, abandoned a promising career in London in 1882 to return to Kidderminster to support his seriously ill father. Working here for 56 years he was responsible for the internationally important introduction of tincture of iodine for sterilisation of the skin and led the campaign for the children’s hospital extension, opened by the Duke of York in 1926.

Lionel’s career is relevant to our time. He clashed frequently with wealthy manufacturers who did not like his calls for more spending on the hospital, and his reputation suffered. This book restores him to his rightful place as an outstanding contributor to the wellbeing of people in the Kidderminster district. John Stretton, the third and most highly qualified of the three, was a highly skilled, general surgeon. He developed new surgical techniques and oversaw the huge change when Kidderminster’s locally managed health service was subsumed into the National Health Service in 1948.  

Price £19.99 (inc.postage)